Burundi: Elders call for international criminal tribunal

NAIROBI, 25 February (IRIN) - Burundi's institution of elders, known as the Bashingantahe, has called for the rapid establishment of an international criminal tribunal to try those involved in the excesses perpetrated during the country's 10-year civil war, according to Net Press.
"This would allow the country to move along the road of justice and not along that of impunity," the Rev Adrien Ntabona said on Friday in the west-central town of Mwaro, at a ceremony marking the national day of justice.

He said the elders were ready to collaborate with a truth and reconciliation commission as envisaged under the Arusha accord.

Ntabona, an abbot, recalled that the institution of elders had never fought to attain power, but had always worked for social stability.

Meanwhile, on Monday, Burundi's privately owned Bonesha FM radio reported that Jean-Bosco Ndayikengurukiye's wing of the Conseil national pour la defense de la democratie-Forces pour la defense de la democratie had said it would deliver any of its members accused of war crimes to an international tribunal.

However, Ndayikengurukiye said, it would be on condition that the tribunal worked for national reconciliation and that those accused of crimes must not be sought from just one segment of the political spectrum. He also called for investigations into the assassination on 21 October 1993 of President Melchior Ndadaye, which sparked the country's 10-year civil war.


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